I am proud to report that I was promoted to advanced brown belt in Kung Fu last Friday.
The structure goes something like this:
Yellow: short classes, 3 self defenses,
Gold: 2 self defenses, 1 hand form
Orange: 3 self defenses, 1 hand form
Jade: medium class length, begin sparring, 3 self defenses, 1/2 hand form
Green: 3 self defenses, 1/2 hand form
Purple: 3 self defenses, 1 hand form, 1 bo staff form
Blue: 3 self defenses, 1 hand form, 1 bo staff form
Red: 3 self defenses, 1 hand form, advanced strikes
Brown: longer training classes, 3 self defenses, 1 hand form, 1 bo staff form
Adv. Brown: 1 sword form, perfection of techniques
Black: awesomeness achieved.
We’re probably looking at a solid year of training before I can start looking forward to a Black Belt test. This is not depressing however, because the immediate future holds a fair bit of excitement in that I’ve started learning sword. Last night I was handed a wooden sword with which I’ll learn all the basic moves. Last night I was working on two simple figure eight movements – nothing crazy. I imagine it’ll be some time before I try my hand at the metal blade.
I also need to better condition my body for the black belt test. Going from Adv. Brown to black is the first time that you need to pass a specific test to progress forward (as far as I know, each progressing degree of black belt also requires a test). The pre-test is a private ordeal, so none of us are sure what exactly happens. Kung Fu Roland is up for his pre-test this Saturday (good luck Roland!!!)
What we DO know is that we must perform all our forms, all our self defenses, fight two opponents at once, perform 50 panther pushups, 50 row-boats (or pikes), and hold a horse stance with a bo’ staff resting across your legs for 150 seconds.
Right now I know (but have not yet perfected) the forms (excluding the sword form) and all the self defenses, but you can bet your sweet bippy that I am not up to par on my horse stance. Right now I’m probably hitting 60 seconds at best. I’m going to have to figure out some sort of training regimen to help me towards that task.
After the pre-test is passed, there’s a ceremonial test where family and friends are invited. It’s at this point where there will be a huge party and much celebration. BLACK BELTS FOR EVERYBODY!